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Curtis, Tony 1925–

Curtis, Tony 1925–

(Anthony Curtis, James Curtis)

PERSONAL

Original name, Bernard Schwartz; born June 3, 1925, in the Bronx, NY; son of Emmanuel Mond (a tailor) and Helen (maiden name, Klein) Schwartz; married Janet Leigh (an actress), June 4, 1951 (divorced, June 1962); married Christine Kaufman (an actress), February 8, 1963 (divorced, 1967); married Leslie Allen, April 20, 1968 (divorced, 1982); married Lisa Deutsch, 1993 (divorced, 1994); married Jill Vandenberg (a horse trainer), November 6, 1998; children: (first marriage) Kelly Lee (an actress), Jamie Lee (an actress and director); (second marriage) Alexandra, Allegra; (third marriage) Nicholas (deceased), Benjamin. Education: Attended Seward Park High School and City College of New York; studied acting at New York Dramatic Workshop and New School for Social Research. Avocational Interests: Painting.

Addresses:

Manager—Michael Einfeld Management, 10630 Moorpark, Suite 101, Toluca Lake, CA 91602.

Career:

Actor, song performer, and writer. Signed contract with Universal Pictures in 1948; Curtleigh Productions (production company), founder (with Janet Leigh), c. late 1950s; Curtis Enterprise (production company), c. early 1960s; Zelgo.com (a Web site for seniors), spokesperson, 2000—. Military service: U.S. Navy (submarine service), 1942-45.

Awards, Honors:

Golden Apple Award, most cooperative actor, 1952, 1958; Most Popular Male Star, Photoplay Awards, 1958; Henrietta Award, world film favorite—male, Golden Globe Awards, 1958, 1961; Film Award nomination, best foreign actor, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1958, Academy Award nomination, best actor, 1959, both for Sweet Smell of Success; Film Award nomination, best foreign actor, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Golden Globe Award nomination, best motion picture actor—drama, 1959, both for The Defiant Ones; Golden Globe Award nomination, best motion picture actor—drama, 1969, for The Boston Strangler; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding lead actor in a limited series or a special, 1980, for The Scarlett O'Hara War; USA Film Festival Master Screen Artist Award, 1992; Distinguished Hollywood Film Artist Award, St. Louis International Film Festival, 1997; "The General" Honorary Award, Catalonian International Film Festival, 2000; Special David di Donatello Award, 2001; Golden Camera for Lifetime Achievement, 2004; Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award, 2006; received Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.

CREDITS

Film Appearances:

(Uncredited) Gigolo, Criss Cross, 1949.

(Uncredited) Hot rod driver, The One False Step, Universal, 1949.

(As Anthony Curtis) Bellboy, The Lady Gambles, 1949.

(As Anthony Curtis) Joey Hyatt, Johnny Stool Pigeon, 1949.

How to Smuggle a Hernia Across the Border, 1949.

(As Anthony Curtis) Mitch, City Across the River, 1949.

(Uncredited) Voice of Dave Shaw, Woman in Hiding, 1950.

(As Anthony Curtis) Doan, Winchester '73 (also known as Montana Winchester), 1950.

(As Anthony Curtis) Brent Coulter, Sierra, 1950.

(As Anthony Curtis) Pepe, I Was a Shoplifter, 1950.

(As Anthony Curtis) Captain Jones, Francis (also known as Francis the Talking Mule), 1950.

Kit Dalton, Kansas Raiders, Universal, 1950.

Julna, The Prince Who Was a Thief, Universal, 1951.

Paul Callan, Flesh and Fury, Universal, 1952.

(Uncredited) Himself, Meet Danny Wilson, Universal, 1952.

Alvah Morrell, No Room for the Groom, Universal, 1952.

Kashma Baba, Son of Ali Baba, Universal, 1952.

Nick Bonelli, The All-American (also known as The Winning Way), Universal, 1953.

Eddie Darrow, Forbidden, Universal, 1953.

Title role, Houdini, Paramount, 1953.

Burke, Beachhead, United Artists, 1954.

Myles Falworth, The Black Shield of Falworth, Universal, 1954.

Title role, Johnny Dark, Universal, 1954.

Joe Maxwell, So This Is Paris (also known as So This Is Paree and Three Gobs in Paris), Universal, 1954.

Rene do Traviere, The Purple Mask, Universal, 1955.

Jerry Florea, Six Bridges to Cross, Universal, 1955.

Eddie Quaid/Packy Glennon, The Square Jungle, Universal, 1955.

Ben Mathews, The Rawhide Years, Universal, 1956.

Tino Orsini, Trapeze, Susan/United Artists, 1956.

Joe Martini, The Midnight Story (also known as Appointment with a Shadow), Universal, 1957.

Cory, Mister Cory, Universal, 1957.

Sidney Falco, Sweet Smell of Success, Norma-Curtleigh/United Artists, 1957.

John "Joker" Jackson, The Defiant Ones, United Artists, 1958.

Sergeant Britt Harris, Kings Go Forth, Frank Ross-Eton/United Artists, 1958.

Corporal Paul Hodges, The Perfect Furlough (also known as Strictly for Pleasure), Universal, 1958.

Eric, The Vikings, Bryna/United Artists, 1958.

Lieutenant Nick Holden, Operation Petticoat, Granarte/Universal, 1959.

Joe/Josephine, Some Like It Hot, Ashton-Mirish/United Artists, 1959.

Ferdinand Waldo Demara, Jr., The Great Imposter, Universal, 1960.

(Uncredited) Cameo, Pepe, Columbia, 1960.

Peter Hammond, Jr., Rat Race, Paramount, 1960.

Antonius, Spartacus (also known as Spartacus: Rebel Against Rome), Bryna/Universal, 1960.

David Wilson, Who Was That Lady?, Ansark-Sidney/Columbia, 1960.

Steve McCluskey, Forty Pounds of Trouble, Universal, 1962.

Ira Hamilton Hayes, The Outsider, Universal, 1962.

Andre Bulba, Taras Bulba, Hecht-Curtleigh/United Artists, 1962.

Corporal Jackson Laibowitz, Captain Newman, M.D., Universal, 1963.

Italian, The List of Adrian Messenger, Universal, 1963.

George Tracy, Goodbye Charlie, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1964.

(Uncredited) Maurice/Philippe, second policeman, Paris When It Sizzles, Quine-Charleston/Paramount, 1964.

Bob Weston, Sex and the Single Girl, Warner Bros., 1964.

Terry Williams, Wild and Wonderful, Universal, 1964.

Bernard Lawrence, Boeing (707) Boeing (707), Paramount, 1965.

Leslie "The Great Leslie" Gallant III, The Great Race (also known as Blake Edwards' "The Great Race"), Warner Bros., 1965.

Himself, Behind the Scenes with Blake Edwards' "The Great Race," 1965.

Nick Johnson, Drop Dead Darling (also known as Arrivederci Baby!), Paramount, 1966.

(Uncredited) Mr. Julian, Chamber of Horrors, Warner Bros., 1966.

Tom Ferris, Not with My Wife, You Don't, Fernwood-Reynard/Warner Bros., 1966.

Carlo Cofield, Don't Make Waves, Filmways-Reynard/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1967.

Guerrando, The Chastity Belt (also known as On My Way to the Crusades I Met a Girl Who … and La cintura di castita), Titanus/Warner Bros./Seven Arts, 1968.

(Uncredited) Voice of Donald Baumgart, Rosemary's Baby, Paramount, 1968.

Albert De Salvo, The Boston Strangler, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1968.

Chester Schofield, Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies (also known as Monte Carlo or Bust, Gonfles a bloc, Monte Carlo Rally, Montecarlo Rally, Quei temerari sulle loro pazze, scatentate, scalcinate carriole, Il ralleye di Montecarloe tutta quella confusione, and Le rallye de Monte Carlo), Dino De Laurentiis—Marianne-Basil Keys/Paramount, 1969.

Sergeant Shannon Gambroni, Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came? (also known as War Games), ABC/Cinerama, 1970.

Adam Dyer, You Can't Win 'Em All (also known as The Dubious Patriots and Soldiers of Fortune), Columbia, 1970.

Danny Wilde, Mission: Monte Carlo, 1974.

Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, Lepke, AmeriEuro/Warner Bros., 1975.

Daniel Wilde, Sporting Chance, 1976.

Danny Wilde, London Conspiracy, 1976.

Rodriguez, The Last Tycoon, Paramount, 1976.

Marvin Lazar, The Bad News Bears Go to Japan, Paramount, 1978.

Harry Erskine, The Manitou, Weist-Simon/Avco Embassy, 1978.

Alexei Karansky, Sexette, Crown International, 1978.

Giacomo Casanova, Some Like It Cool (also known as Casanova and Co., The Rise and Rise of Casanova, Sex on the Run, Some Like It Cool, The Amorous Mis-Adventures of Casanova, and Treize femmes pour Casanova), Neue Delta-Pan-Panther-COFCI-TV 13/Pro International, 1979.

McCoy, Double Take, 1979.

Blackie, Little Miss Marker, Universal, 1980.

Robert Talbot, It Rained All Night the Day I Left (also known as Deux affreux sur le sable), 1980.

Marty N. Fenn, The Mirror Crack'd, EMI/Associated Film Distribution, 1980.

Frank Renzetti, Title Shot, Regenthall/Cinepax, 1982.

Colonel Iago, Othello, el comando negro (also known as Black Commando, Othello, and Othello, the Black Commando), 1982.

Dr. Clavius, Brainwaves (also known as Mind Games and Shadow of Death), Motion Picture Marketing, 1983.

Parsifal Katzenellen-Boden, Where Is Parsifal?, Terrence Young, 1983.

The senator, Insignificance, Zenith-Recorded Picture Co./Island Alive, 1985.

Himself, The Fantasy Film World of George Pal, 1985.

Hector, Club Life (also known as King of the City), Tiger Productions-Cineworld Entertainment/Troma Team, 1985.

Ernie Stoddard, the tycoon, Balboa (also known as Rich and Powerful), Production Associates/Entertainment Artists-Vestron Video, 1986.

Charles Foster, The Last of Philip Banter (also known as Banter), Tesauro-Banter, 1986.

Voice, Sparky's Magic Piano, 1987.

Mr. Cornfield, Der Passagier—Welcome to Germany (also known as The Passenger—Welcome to Germany and Welcome to Germany), 1988.

J. P. Shelldrake, Lobster Man from Mars, 1989.

Willy La Rouge, Walter & Carlo I Amerika (also known as Walter & Carlo in America and Walter og Carlo I Amerika), 1989.

Mr. B, Midnight, 1989.

Marietta Copella, Prime Target, 1991.

Narrator, Hollywood Babylon II, 1992.

Stephen Moore, Center of the Web, 1992.

Himself, Hugh Hefner: Once Upon a Time, 1992.

Aziru/Dr. Mohassid, The Mummy Lives, 1993.

The Celebrity Guide to Entertaining, 1993.

Carl Fisher, Naked in New York, 1994.

Himself, A Century of Cinema, 1994.

Interviewee, The Celluloid Closet (also known as Celluloid Closet and Gefangen in der Traumfabrik), 1995.

Wald, Hardball (also known as Bounty Hunters II and Bounty Hunters 2: Hardball), 1997.

Jack Steele, Brittle Glory (also known as The Continued Adventures of Reptile Man and His Faithful Sidekick Tadpole and The Continued Adventures of Reptile Man), 1997.

Dr. Lancaster, Alien X Factor, Filmdeck, 1997.

Stargames, Amazing, 1998.

Lenny Star Springer, Louis & Frank (also known as Louis and Frank), 1998.

Ringside fan, Play It to the Bone (also known as Play It), Buena Vista, 1999.

Himself, Tony Curtis on "Some Like It Hot" (documentary short), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment, 2001.

Himself, Rescued from the Closet (documentary), Columbia TriStar Home Video, 2001.

Host, Reflections of Evil, Pookie Films, 2002.

Himself, One Less Tear (short), 2003.

Himself, The Untitled "Star Wars" Mockumentary (short), BijouFlix Releasing, 2003.

Himself, Playmate: 50 Years of Playmates, 2004.

Himself, The Making of "Some Like It Hot" (documentary short), 2006.

Himself, The Morning After: Remembering the Persuaders! (documentary), Network Video, 2006.

Sol, Funny Money, ThinkFilm, 2006.

Himself, Where's Marty?, 2006.

Voice of God, The Blacksmith and the Carpenter, 2007.

Film Work:

Executive producer, Sweet Smell of Success, 1957.

Television Appearances; Series:

Danny Wilde, The Persuaders, ABC, 1971-72.

Title role, McCoy, NBC, 1975-76.

Philip "Slick" Roth, Vega$, ABC, 1978-81.

Host, Hollywood Babylon, 1992.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Joey Jordan, The Third Girl from the Left, ABC, 1973.

McCoy, The Big Ripoff, NBC, 1975.

Fernand Mondego, The Count of Monte Cristo (also known as Il conte di Montecristo), NBC, 1975.

Randy Brent, The Users, ABC, 1978.

David O. Selznick, Moviola: The Scarlett O'Hara War (also known as Moviola and The Scarlett O'Hara War), NBC, 1980.

Flanagan, Inmates: A Love Story, ABC, 1981.

Chester Masterson, The Million Dollar Face (also known as Kiss of Gold), NBC, 1981.

Joey De Leon, Portrait of a Showgirl, CBS, 1982.

Charles Cartwright/Edward W. Muggins, Agatha Christie's "Murder in Three Acts" (also known as Murder in Three Acts), CBS, 1986.

Sam (Salvatore) "Momo" Giancana, Mafia Princess, ABC, 1986.

Harry's Back, 1987.

Archimedes Porter, Tarzan in Manhattan, 1989.

Max Schloss, Thanksgiving Day (also known as The Good Family), 1990.

Alexander Yardley, Christmas in Connecticut, 1992.

Lucky Bergstrom, Bandit: Beauty and the Bandit, syndicated, 1994.

Johnny Steele, A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Grimacing Governor, NBC, 1994.

Dominic, The Immortals, HBO, 1995.

(Uncredited) Cameo, Elvis Meets Nixon, Showtime, 1997.

Television Appearances; Specials:

"A Star Is Born" Premiere, 1954.

The Red Skelton Revue, CBS, 1954.

Steve Allen in Movieland, 1955.

A Private Little Party for a Few Chums, 1957.

The 31st Annual Academy Awards, NBC, 1959.

The 32nd Annual Academy Awards, NBC, 1960.

The 33rd Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1961.

The 41st Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1969.

The Bob Hope Show, NBC, 1970.

Super Comedy Bowl 2, CBS, 1972.

Annie and the Hoods, ABC, 1974.

Gunther Gebel-Williams: The Lord of the Ring, CBS, 1977.

Playboy's 25th Anniversary Celebration, ABC, 1979.

Magic with the Stars, 1982.

Circus of the Stars #8, 1983.

American Film Institute Salute to Billy Wilder (also known as A Salute to Billy Wilder and The 14th American Film Institute Life Achievement Award: A Salute to Billy Wilder), 1986.

Scott Parish, Charlie, 1989.

The American Film Institute Salute to Sidney Poitier, 1992.

Roger Moore: A Matter of Class, Arts and Entertainment, 1995.

Hugh Hefner: American Playboy, Arts and Entertainment, 1996.

Burt Lancaster, AMC, 1997.

The GI Bill: The Law That Changed America, PBS, 1997.

Private Screenings: Tony Curtis, TCM, 1999.

The Rat Pack, HBO, 1999.

AFI's 100 Years, 100 Laughs: America's Funniest Movies, 2000.

Playboy: The Party Continues, 2000.

Playboy: Inside the Playboy Mansion, Arts and Entertainment, 2002.

Playboys' 50th Anniversary Celebration, Arts and Entertainment, 2003.

Snow Graham Norton: The Hollywood and the Ivy, Channel Four, 2003.

Hollywood Home Movies, Arts and Entertainment, 2004.

Hollywood Legenden, 2004.

Jerry Lewis—Konig der komodianten, 2006.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Philip Roth, Vega$ (also known as High Roller), ABC, 1978.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

The Colgate Comedy Hour (also known as Colgate Summer Comedy Hour, Colgate Variety Hour, and Michael Todd Revue), 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955.

Mystery guest, What's My Line?, 1955.

Toast of the Town (also known as The Ed Sullivan Show), 1955, 1956.

Mario Galindo, "Cornada," General Electric Theater (also known as G.E. Theater), CBS, 1957.

The Perry Como Show (also known as Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall and The Chesterfield Supper Club), 1958.

I've Got a Secret, 1958.

Charlie, "Man on a Rack," Schlitz Playhouse of the Stars (also known as Herald Playhouse, Schlitz Playhouse, and The Playhouse), CBS, 1958.

David, "The Stone," General Electric Theater (also known as G.E. Theater), CBS, 1959.

"The Hollywood Merit Awards," The Steve Allen Show (also known as The Steve Allen Plymouth Show), 1959.

"Mervyn LeRoy," This Is Your Life, 1960.

"Nightbeat Takeoff," The Jack Benny Program (also known as The Jack Benny Show), 1960.

Juggler, "The Young Juggler," Startime (also known as Ford Startime and Lincoln-Mercury Startime), 1960.

Here's Hollywood, 1962.

Voice of Stony Curtis, "The Return of Stony Curtis," The Flintstones (animated), 1965.

Good Company, ABC, 1967.

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, NBC, 1968, 1970, 1973.

Cameo, "Fade-In," Bracken's World, 1969.

The Mike Douglas Show, 1970.

"Tony Curtis," Film Night, 1970.

The ABC Comedy Hour, 1972.

V.I.P.—Schaukel, 1972.

The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, 1972.

Clifford Grayson, "Hit-Run," Shaft, 1973.

Joe O'Hara, "Eight Ball," The Fall Guy, 1983.

Aspel & Company, ITV, 1984.

The Dame Edna Experience, 1989.

Reflections on the Silver Screen with Professor Richard Brown, 1990.

Host, Hollywood Babylon, 1992.

Late Show with David Letterman (also known as The Late Show), CBS, 1993.

Sunday Night Clive (also known as Clive James), PBS, 1994.

SHE TV, Lifetime, 1994.

Dr. Isaac Mamba, "I Now Pronounce You …," Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (also known as Lois & Clark and The New Adventures of Superman), ABC, 1996.

Hal, "Ballroom Blitz," Roseanne, ABC, 1996.

Himself, "Mrs. Merton in Las Vegas," The Mrs. Merton Show, 1997.

Clive Anderson All Talk, BBC1, 1998.

Peter Dicaprio, "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," Suddenly Susan, NBC, 1998.

Himself, The Rat Pack, 1999.

"Tony Curtis," Private Screenings, 1999.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, 1999.

"Ernest Borgnine: Hollywood's Uncommon Character," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2000.

"Tony Curtis: Tony of the Movies," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2001.

"Wetten, dass …? aus Gottingen," Wetten, dass?, 2001.

"Albert DeSalvo: The Boston Strangler," Backstory (also known as Hollywood Backstories), AMC, 2001.

"The Boston Strangler," History vs. Hollywood, History Channel, 2001.

"Tony Curtis," The Hollywood Greats (also known as Hollywood Greats), BBC1, 2002.

"Kirk Douglas," The Hollywood Greats (also known as Hollywood Greats), BBC1, 2003.

"Janet Leigh," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2003.

Morris, "Jack's Back," Hope & Faith, NBC, 2004.

Die Johannes B. Kerner Show (also known as JBK), 2004.

Tony, "Grave Danger: Volume 1," CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (also known as C.S.I., CSI: Las Vegas, and Les Experts), CBS, 2005.

"Hollywood Goes to War," War Stories with Oliver North, 2006.

"Jack Lemmon," The Hollywood Greats (also known as Hollywood Greats), BBC1, 2006.

"Marlon Brando," The Hollywood Greats (also known as Hollywood Greats), BBC1, 2006.

"The Marilyn Tapes," 48 Hours (also known as 48 Hours Investigates and 48 Hours Mystery), CBS, 2006.

"The Marilyn Mystery," 60 Minutes, CBS, 2006.

Television Work; Movies:

Executive producer, The Young Juggler, 1960.

Stage Appearances:

Golden Boy, Cherry Lane Theatre, New York City, 1948.

Osgood Fielding III, Some Like It Hot, Houston, TX, and Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA, 2002.

Also appeared in I Oughta Be in Pictures, Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles.

WRITINGS

Autobiography:

(With Barry Paris) Tony Curtis: The Autobiography, Morrow, 1993.

Novels:

Kid Andrew Cody and Julie Sparrow, Doubleday, 1977.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

Hunter, Allan, Tony Curtis: The Man and His Movies, St. Martin's Press, 1985.

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers: Volume 3: Actors and Actresses, St. James Press, 1996.

Munn, Michael, The Kid from the Bronx: A Biography of Tony Curtis, 1984.

Periodicals:

Entertainment Weekly, May 30, 1997, p. 88.

People Weekly, November 23, 1998, p. 64; July 5, 1999, p. 107.

Variety, September 9, 2002, p. A10.

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Curtis, Tony

CURTIS, Tony



Nationality: American. Born: Bernard Schwartz in the Bronx, New York, 3 June 1925; known as James Curtis and Anthony Curtis during early career. Education: Attended Seward Park High School, New York; City College of New York; acting classes at New York's Dramatic Workshop. Military Service: World War II—served with U.S. Navy. Family: Married 1) the actress Janet Leigh, 1951 (divorced 1962), daughters: the actresses Kelly Lee and Jamie Lee Curtis; 2) the actress Christine Kaufmann, 1963 (divorced 1967),


daughters: Alexandra, Allegra; 3) Leslie Allen, 1968 (divorced 1981), sons: Nicholas, Benjamin. Career: Mid-1940s—started Empire Players theater in Newark, New Jersey; later joined the Dramatic Workshop of the Cherry Lane Theater and Drama Workshop of Walt Whitman; late 1940s—began acting professionally with Stanley Woolf Players which toured "Borscht Circuit" in Catskills; appeared briefly off-Broadway; 1948—film debut in bit role in Criss Cross; 1949—contract with Universal; late 1950s—formed Curtleigh Productions with wife Janet Leigh; early 1960s—formed production company Curtis Enterprises; later formed Reynard production company; 1971–72—in the TV series The Persuaders; 1975–76—in TV series McCoy; 1978–82—semi-regular on ABC-TV series Vegas. Address: c/o Jerry Zeitman, The Agency, 10351 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 211, Los Angeles, CA 90025, U.S.A.


Films as Actor:

1948

Criss Cross (Siodmak) (as gigolo)

1949

City across the River (Shane) (as Mitch); The Lady Gambles (Gordon) (as bellboy); Johnny Stool Pigeon (Castle) (as Joey Hyatt); Francis (Lubin) (as Capt. Jones)

1950

Sierra (Green) (as Brent Coulter); I Was a Shoplifter (Lamont) (as Pepe); Winchester '73 (Anthony Mann) (as Doan); Kansas Raiders (Enright) (as Kit Dalton)

1951

The Prince Who Was a Thief (Maté) (as Julna); Flesh and Fury (Pevney) (as Paul Callan)

1952

No Room for the Groom (Sirk) (as Alvah Morrell); Son of Ali Baba (Newmann) (as Kashma Baba)

1953

Houdini (George Marshall) (title role); The All-American (The Winning Way) (Hibbs) (as Nick Bonelli); Forbidden (Maté) (as Eddie Darrow)

1954

Beachhead (Heisler) (as Burke); Johnny Dark (Sherman) (title role); The Black Shield of Falworth (Maté) (as Myles Falworth); So This Is Paris (Quine) (as Joe Maxwell)

1955

Six Bridges to Cross (Pevney) (as Jerry Florea); The Purple Mask (Humberstone) (as René); The Square Jungle (Jerry Hopper) (as Eddie Quaid)

1956

The Rawhide Years (Maté) (as Ben Matthews); Trapeze (Reed) (as Tino Orsini)

1957

Mister Cory (Edwards) (title role); The Sweet Smell of Success (Mackendrick) (as Sidney Falco); The Midnight Story (Appointment with a Shadow) (Pevney) (as Joe Martini)

1958

The Vikings (Fleischer) (as Eric); Kings Go Forth (Daves) (as Britt Harris); The Defiant Ones (Kramer) (as John Jackson); The Perfect Furlough (Strictly for Pleasure) (Edwards) (as Cpl. Paul Hodges)

1959

Some Like It Hot (Wilder) (as Joe/Josephine); Operation Petticoat (Edwards) (as Lt. Nick Holden); Who Was That Lady? (Sidney) (as David Wilson)

1960

The Rat Race (Mulligan) (as Pete Hammond Jr.); Spartacus (Kubrick) (as Antoninus); The Great Impostor (Mulligan) (as Ferdinand Waldo Demara Jr.); Pepe (Sidney) (as guest)

1961

The Outsider (Delbert Mann) (as Ira Hamilton Hayes)

1962

Forty Pounds of Trouble (Jewison) (as Steve McCluskey); Taras Bulba (Thompson) (as Andrei Bulba)

1963

The List of Adrian Messenger (Huston) (as Italian); Captain Newman, M.D. (Miller) (as Cpl. Jackson Laibowitz); Paris When It Sizzles (Quine) (as second policeman)

1964

Wild and Wonderful (Anderson) (as Terry Williams); Goodbye Charlie (Minnelli) (as George Tracy); Sex and the Single Girl (Quine) (as Bob Weston)

1965

The Great Race (Edwards) (as The Great Leslie); Boeing-Boeing (Rich) (as Bernard Lawrence)

1966

Not with My Wife, You Don't (Panama) (as Tom Ferris); Chamber of Horrors (Averback) (as Mr. Julian); Arrivederci, Baby (Drop Dead, Darling) (Hughes) (as Nick)

1967

La cintura di castita (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Crusades; The Chastity Belt) (Campanile) (as Guerrando da Montone); Don't Make Waves (Mackendrick) (as Carlo Cofield)

1968

Rosemary's Baby (Polanski) (as voice of Donald Baumgart); The Boston Strangler (Fleischer) (as Albert de Salvo)

1969

Quei temerari sulle loro pazze, scatenate, scalcinate carriole (Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies; Monte Carlo or Bust!) (Annakin) (as Chester Schofield)

1970

Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came? (Averback) (as Shannon Gambroni); You Can't Win 'em All (Collinson) (as Adam Dyer)

1973

The Third Girl from the Left (Medak—for TV)

1974

Lepke (Golan) (title role)

1975

The Count of Monte Cristo (Greene—for TV) (as Mondego); The Big Rip-Off (Hardgrove—for TV)

1976

The Last Tycoon (Kazan) (as Rodriguez)

1977

Casanova & Co. (The Rise and Rise of Casanova; Some Like It Cool) (Legrand, i.e., Franz Antel) (title role); The Manitou (Girdler) (as Harry Erskine)

1978

Sextette (Hughes) (as Alexei); The Bad News Bears Go to Japan (Berry) (as Marvin); The Users (Hardy—for TV); Vegas (Richard Lang—for TV) (as Phillip Roth)

1979

It Rained All Night the Day I Left (Gessner) (as Robert Talbot); Title Shot (Rose) (as Frank Renzetti)

1980

Little Miss Marker (Bernstein) (as Blackie); The Mirror Crack'd (Hamilton) (as Marty N. Fenn); Moviola: The Scarlett O'Hara War (Erman—for TV)

1981

The Million Dollar Face (O'Herlihy—for TV); Inmates: A Love Story (Green—for TV)

1982

Brainwaves (Lommel) (as Dr. Clavius); Portrait of a Showgirl (Stern—for TV); Othello—The Black Commando (Boulois) (as Iago); Balboa (Polakof) (as Ernie Stoddard)

1984

Where Is Parsifal? (Helman) (as Parsifal Katzenellenbogen)

1985

Insignificance (Roeg) (as the Senator)

1986

The Last of Philip Banter (Hachuel) (as Charles Foster); Mafia Princess (Collins—for TV) (as Salvatore "Sam" Giancana); Balbao (Polakof) (as Ernie Stoddard)

1987

Club Life (Vane) (as Hector)

1988

Pascsagier—Welcome to Germany (Brasch) (as Cornfield)

1989

Lobster Man from Mars (Sheff) (as J. P. Shelldrake); Midnight (Vane); Walter & Carlo i Amerika (Friis-Mikkelsen) (as Wally La Rouge)

1990

Tarzan in Manhattan (Schultz—for TV) (as Archimedes Porter); Bloodlaw (Heavener); Thanksgiving Day (Tanasescu—for TV) (as Max Schloss)

1991

Prime Target (Heavener) (as Marrietta Copella)

1992

Center of the Web (Prior) (as Stephen Moore); Christmas in Connecticut (Schwarzenegger—for TV) (as Alex Yardley)

1994

The Mummy Lives (Gerry O'Hara) (as Aziru/Dr. Mohassid); Bandit: Beauty and The Bandit (Needham—for TV) (as Lucky Bergstrom); A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Grimacing Governor (Tash—for TV) (as Johnny Steele); Naked in New York (Algrant) (as Carl Fisher)

1995

The Immortals (for TV); The Celluoid Closet (Epstein and Friedman—doc) (as interviewee); Roger Moore: A Matter of Class (for TV) (as himself)

1997

Elvis Meets Nixon (Arkush) (uncredited—as himself); Hardball (Erschbamer) (as Wald); Brittle Glory (The Continued Adventures of Reptile Man) (Schill) (as Jack Steele); Alien X Factor (Sondberg) (as Dr. Lancaster)

1998

Louis & Frank (Rockwell); Stargames (Gordon Clark)

1999

Play It to the Bone (Play It) (Shelton) (as Ringside Fan)

2000

Those Old Broads




Publications


By CURTIS: books—

Kid Andrew Cody and Julie Sparrow (novel), 1977.

Tony Curtis: The Autobiography, with Barry Paris, New York, 1993.


By CURTIS: articles—

Interview with Brian Baxter, in Films and Filming (London), August 1985.

Interview with G. Fuller, in Interview, June 1991.

Interview with Maria Lexton, in Time Out (London), 16 November 1994.

Interview with Andrew Duncan, in Radio Times (London), 22 April 1995.


On CURTIS: books—

Richards, Jeffrey, Swordsmen of the Screen: From Douglas Fairbanks to Michael York, London, 1977.

Farber, Stephen, and Marc Green, Hollywood Dynasties, New York, 1984.

Leigh, Janet, There Really Was a Hollywood, 1984.

Munn, Michael, The Kid from the Bronx: A Biography of Tony Curtis, London, 1984.

Hunter, Allan, Tony Curtis: The Man and His Movies, Edinburgh, 1985.


On CURTIS: articles—

Cassa, A., "Tony Curtis," letter, in Films in Review (New York), January 1973.

Letter from K. Canham in Films in Review (New York), May 1974.

Ecran (Paris), September 1978.

Root, Steve, "Tony Curtis," Los Angeles Magazine, March 1989.


* * *

Ironically, Tony Curtis is today best known as the father of actress Jamie Lee Curtis. But in a career that spans more than five dozen films and a panorama of genres, he has proved to be an engaging light comedian—particularly when guided by Blake Edwards or Billy Wilder; he has also startled critics with a smattering of sharp-edged dramatic portrayals. Sadly, his acting reputation has long been eclipsed by that of his personal life, most notably his marriages (which proved fodder for fan magazines during their heyday). Even his physical qualities, his "pretty-boy" looks, which initially propelled him to stardom during the glamour-obsessed late 1950s and early 1960s, have worked against him.

Certainly, he was badly miscast early in his career: with his Bronx accent, the former Bernard Schwartz stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb in a string of Westerns, swashbucklers, and Arabian Nightsinduced flights of fancy, wherein he uttered such immortal lines as "Yonda is the castle uv my fodda."

The critical sniggering that dogged those early performances came to a halt in 1957 with Curtis's stunning portrayal of oily press agent Sidney Falco in the gritty film noir The Sweet Smell of Success. Incomprehensibly, Curtis was not nominated for an Oscar in that performance. A year later, however, he was Best Actor nominee for The Defiant Ones, a chase film about racial prejudice directed by Stanley Kramer. Armed with critical acclaim, Curtis gave confident performances (sans Bronx accent) in the memorable period spectacles, The Vikings and Spartacus.

It was the back-to-back release in 1959 of two frantic comedies—Some Like It Hot, directed by Wilder, and Operation Petticoat, one of his many collaborations with Edwards (they also teamed up for such films as Mister Cory and The Great Race)—that displayed his impeccable comic timing. At his most convincing when cast opposite strong (or, at the very least, ingratiating) performers, Curtis proved a deft foil for Jack Lemmon and a charming romantic lead opposite Marilyn Monroe in the Wilder comedy. In Operation Petticoat he more than held his own with Cary Grant (whose distinctive voice he successfully parodied in Some Like It Hot).

Curtis went on to breezy work in so-called sophisticated comedies such as Sex and the Single Girl, then reinforced his dramatic reputation with his chilling portrayal of Albert de Salvo in The Boston Strangler (1968). Curtis campaigned long and hard to win the role, knowing it was a long shot; he gained almost 30 pounds and had his face rebuilt with a false nose to look like de Salvo. His perseverance earned him the role and good reviews, but not the Oscar nomination he sought and expected. The academy did not like serial killers, regardless of how persuasively they were played on the screen; it had previously ignored Anthony Perkins's now-classic performance in Psycho. Not until Anthony Hopkins's Hannibal the Cannibal in Silence of the Lambs in 1991 would such an honor be bestowed—not only was Hopkins nominated, he won.

The Boston Strangler proved to be Curtis's last major film role. He has since appeared mostly in low-budget and foreign films and in various television productions, often playing aging Sicilian godfathers and other Mafioso types.

—Pat H. Broeske, updated by John McCarty

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Curtis, Tony

CURTIS, TONY

CURTIS, TONY (Bernard Schwartz ; 1925– ), U.S. actor. Born in New York, the son of a Hungarian tailor, Curtis began his career on the stage in a settlement house in the Bronx. He then went from summer stock companies to off-Broadway shows, and finally to Hollywood. His first major dramatic role was in Trapeze (1956), followed by Sweet Smell of Success (1957). Adeptly handling both dramatic and comedy roles, Curtis starred in many films, including Houdini (1953), The Defiant Ones (1958), The Vikings (1958), Some Like It Hot (1959), Operation Petticoat (1959), Spartacus (1960), The Rat Race (1960), Who Was That Lady? (1960), The Great Impostor (1961), The Outsider (1962), Taras Bulba (1962), Forty Pounds of Trouble (1962), Captain Newman, M.D. (1963), Goodbye, Charlie (1964), Sex and the Single Girl (1964), The Great Race (1965), Boeing, Boeing (1966), Don't Make Waves (1967), The Boston Strangler (1968), Lepke (1975), The Last Tycoon (1976), Casanova & Co. (1977), Little Miss Marker (1980), The Mirror Crack'd (1980), Insignificance (1985), Center of the Web (1991), The Mummy Lives (1993), Hardball (1997), Alien X Factor (1997), Stargames (1998), and Love Is a Survivor (2004). Among his many television appearances, Curtis starred as Danny Wilde opposite Roger Moore in the adventure series The Persuaders (1971–72).

Adept at artwork as well, Curtis has been painting and drawing for more than 30 years. His works are on exhibit at art galleries and other venues around the world. Actress Jamie Lee *Curtis is the daughter of Curtis and his first wife, Janet Leigh. In 1993 Curtis wrote Tony Curtis: The Autobiography (with B. Paris).

bibliography:

A.A. Hunter, Tony Curtis: The Man and His Movies (1985).

[Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]

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Curtis, Tony

CURTIS, Tony


Nationality: British. Born: Carmarthen, 26 December 1946. Education: Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Carmarthen, 1957–60; Greenhill School, Tenby, 1960–65; University College of Swansea, 1965–69, B.A. (honors) in English 1968, Post-Graduate Certificate in Education 1969; Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont, 1979–80,M.F.A. in creative writing 1980. Family: Married Margaret Blundell in 1970; one son and one daughter. Career: Assistant master, Wilmslow Grammar School for Boys, Cheshire, 1969–71; second in charge of the English Department, Maltby School, West Riding, 1971–74; lecturer in English, South Glamorgan College of Education, Barry, 1974–79. Since 1979 senior lecturer in English, Polytechnic of Wales, Pontypridd. Scheme leader, M.A. in writing, 1993, and professor of poetry, 1994, University of Glamorgan. Founder, Edge Press, 1977–80; editor, Madog Arts Magazine, 1977–81; chair, Welsh Academy, 1984–88; director, Cardiff Literature Festival, 1986. Awards: Eric Gregory award, 1972; Welsh Arts Council Young Poets prize, 1974; National Poetry Competition prize, 1984; Greenwich Festival prize, 1990; Dylan Thomas award, 1993. Address: "Pentwyn," 55 Colcot Road, Barry, South Glamorgan CF6 8BQ, Wales.

Publications

Poetry

Peveril Castle. Frensham, Surrey Sceptre Press, 1971.

Walk Down a Welsh Wind. Manchester, Phoenix Pamphlet Poets Press, 1972.

Home Movies: A Poem Sequence from the U.S.A. 1972. Winchester, Hampshire, Platform/Green Horse, 1973.

Album. Llandybie, Carmarthen, Christopher Davies, 1974.

Three Young Anglo-Welsh Poets, with Duncan Bush and Nigel Jenkins. Cardiff, Welsh Arts Council, 1974.

The Deerslayers. Neath, Glamorgan, Cwm Nedd Press, 1978.

Carnival. Port Talbot, Glamorgan, Alun, 1978.

Preparations: Poems 1974–1979. Llandysul, Dyfed, Gomer, 1980.

Letting Go. Bridgend, Glamorgan, Poetry Wales Press, 1983.

Selected Poems, 1970–1985. Bridgend, Glamorgan, Poetry Wales Press, 1986.

Poems Selected and New. Santa Cruz, California, Story Line Press, 1986.

The Last Candles. Bridgend, Glamorgan, Seren, 1989.

Taken For Pearls. Bridgend, Glamorgan, Seren, 1993.

War Voices. Bridgend, Glamorgan, Seren, 1995.

The Arches. Bridgend, Glamorgan, Seren, 1998.

Play

Radio Play: Islands, 1975.

Other

Out of the Dark Wood: Prose-Poems, Stories. Barry, Glamorgan, Edge Press, 1977.

Dannie Abse. Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1985.

How to Study Modern Poetry. London, Macmillan, 1990.

Welsh Painters Talking. Bridgend, Glamorgan, Seren, and Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, Dufour Editions, 1997.

Editor, Pembrokeshire Poems. Fishguard, Pembrokeshire Handbooks, 1975.

Editor, The Art of Seamus Heaney. Bridgend, Glamorgan, Poetry Wales Press, 1982; second edition, Poetry Wales Press, and Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, Dufour, 1985; third edition, Bridgend, Glamorgan, Seren, 1994.

Editor, with Cliff James, Writing in Wales: A Welsh Academy Resource Pack. Cardiff, Welsh Academy, 1985.

Editor, Wales: The Imagined Nation: Essays in Cultural and National Identity. Bridgend, Glamorgan, Poetry Wales Press, 1986.

Editor, The Poetry of Pembrokeshire [Snowdonia]. Bridgened, Glamorgan, Seren, 2 vols., 1989.

Editor, with Sian James, Love from Wales: An Anthology. Bridgend, Glamorgan, Seren, 1991.

Editor, How Poets Work. Bridgend, Glamorgan, Seren, 1996.

Editor, with Christine Pagnoulle, Sans Dragon et Moutons. Namur, Belgium, Sources, 1994.

Editor, Coal: An Anthology of Mining. Bridgend, Glamorgan, Seren, 1997.

Critical Studies: "Tony Curtis: Frontiersman of Anglo-Welsh Poets" by Mercer Simpson, in Poetry Wales (Bridgend Glamorgan), 20(3), 1985; "Imagination's Roosting Place: Selected Poems, 1970–1985" by Anthony Conran, in Planet (Aberystwyth), 67, 1987; "Interview: Tony Curtis" by Robert Minhinnick, in New Welsh Review (Lampeter), 2(4), Spring 1990; "Tony Curtis: An Appreciation" by Anne Stevenson, in New Welsh Review (Lampeter), 2(4), Spring 1990; "History Books: The Poetry of Tony Curtis" by Tony Brown, in New Welsh Review (Lampeter), 2(4), Spring 1990; "Tony Curtis: A Bio-Critical Essay" by Sam Adams, in Cimarron Review, 126–127, Winter/Spring 1999.

Tony Curtis comments:

I write because it is easier than not writing. It makes sense. Poetry is the most effective way I know of recording, in a considered way, my ideas and experiences and of introducing myself to myself. I am not talking about confessional poetry. I have written directly about myself on few occasions in the last ten years, and since a number of poems dealing with my father's death. Through the 1980s, and now at the beginning of a new decade, I am working at the craft of a poetry that performs as interesting a role as fiction. I am speaking in new voices, other people's voices, and am attempting to create and recreate stories. At the same time I am enjoying more and more the challenges and rewards of formal verse forms and the use of rhyme.

Why don't I write these ideas and experiences, albeit vicarious experiences, directly as short stories? Well, I have done that too and may well turn to the short story again. It does, however, seem to be more compelling, more natural, for me to explore people and their situations through poetry at the moment. More natural? How can poetry, that most wrought of the written arts, foregrounding as it does language in all its flashy, far-fetched manifestations, how can poetry be natural? Well, perhaps it is simply that it has become for me the obvious place to go with my thoughts, my ideas, and the stories I have taken from others.

I realize that this fictive approach may well disturb and disappoint some readers. As we reach the end of the twentieth century, I am aware that whatever audience there might still be for poetry retains expectations rooted in the nineteenth century. The legacy of the romantics is still alive. Poets are sensitive beings, meditating or raging at the center of a cruel or indifferent universe. Souls are to be bared, secrets recognized and shared. Frequent performers of their poetry, a practice that is currently the only sure way to make money as a poet, develop catchphrases, witty off-the-cuff asides sprinkled like yeast to work the considered weight of their words. It is now my practice to say that I wish an audience to leave my reading knowing little more about me than when they entered. If I am really trying to impress, I throw out a reference to Keats and "negative capability." "My life is boringly regular, but the world around is not," I say. I cite Browning's wonderful dramatic monologues, pass on my enthusiasm for the contemporary American Norman Dubie. Like all acts, it is rehearsed and brittle, but until the next death, the next X ray, the fresh pain, it will do.

*  *  *

After early collections in which his diction occasionally carried overtones of Dylan Thomas, Tony Curtis has moved toward the variety of topics and the modulation of voices and versatility in form evidenced in his collections The Last Candles and Taken for Pearls. Most of his poems are short narratives building toward a dramaticclimax and exploring common emotions, however exceptional some of the situations he starts from may be. His inspiration is triggered with equal felicity by small domestic occurrences such as the sudden awareness that a daughter is growing into a woman ("Games with My Daughter" in The Last Candles) or the discovery of a fledgling's corpse in a watering can ("At the Border" in Taken for Pearls), by photographs or paintings (Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, Hans Theo Richter, and Edvard Munch being frequent sources), and by reports (news items, books, or stories he was told) of often dramatic historical events, frequently associated with one of the two world wars.

Even in a poem that seems blissfully free of violence, like "The Portrait of the Painter Hans Theo Richter and His Wife Gisela in Dresden 1933," which is supposed to celebrate "the perfect moment of love" (although on looking at the painting reproduced on the cover of the collection I find a typical imbalance between the wife's pliant concern and the man's absentminded concentration), war is recalled in several ways: place and time, ominous anticipation of the wife's death by fire, and the last lines recording "the sounds of the day"—"a neighbour's wireless playing marches, then a speech." Conversely, the polished innocuousness of the guided tour offered around Terezín (Theresienstadt) in slightly awkward English is undermined by what is heard beyond the speaker's words:

   Look at the children's pictures. You see—
   houses with fences. The chimneys smoke
   —there are families inside.

Or again, in the same poem,

   Where a child's mind flies, yes?
   This one has played the gallows game.
   Or it could be a door.

In his later work more than in his earlier collections other wars are called up too, closer to us in time though some may be more distant in space: guerrilla warfare in Southeast Asia, internecine fighting in Yugoslavia, perhaps also the Persian Gulf War indirectly in the choice to translate poems from a colloquial Iraqi dialect.

Using a neat chiasmus (things are never quite as neat as they seem when one dives into the works), Curtis's poems, one could say, bring out the common core of human emotion even in extreme situations. Conversely, they show up the uniqueness of each pattern of experience even in the most everyday circumstances.

Many of Curtis's protagonists, whether referred to in the third person or speaking in their own voices, are people he does not know personally, people whom he has read or heard about and yet whose experiences he re-creates from the inside. Some are about people he is personally involved with. Remarkably, whether or not personal elements are involved, there is no hiatus in the quality and intensity of the emotion called up by the lines. Readers, though presumably not the writer, may feel moved in similar ways, say, by the story of the nurse with a dying baby girl ("Incident on a Hospital Train from Calcutta, 1944") and by the fresh recollection of a friend's unexpected death ("Playing for Vince"). In grim keeping with the pervasive concern with loss and separation, the figure of Curtis's dead father appears in his poems, mainly in the collection called Preparations: Poems 1974–1979, in which the recurring reference to the scattering of his father's ashes from the Pembrokeshire cliff top is first introduced. Grief is unobtrusively expressed through recollections of the life his father had lived, his mastery of the art of bell ringing or the weather vane he so skillfully contrived. Curtis's grandmother is also present in a number of poems written after her death, notably in "My Grandmother's Cactus" (Letting Go), where his grief for her absence makes him welcome the injuries inflicted by the plant's spikes. In "Under the Yew" (Taken for Pearls), a poem that records the relaxed conversation he has with her in the churchyard where she is buried, he acknowledges the importance of belonging:

   the string is tied back here, as they say—
   apron strings … heart strings, a way through the maze.

Thanks to and out of this sense of belonging he can confidently venture into the lives of others without ever seeming to intrude.

Considering that most of Curtis's poems, hardly any of them over fifty lines, are rounded stories, complete with circumstances and the last-minute inclusion of yet another strand, a particular gift for compression undoubtedly counts among his achievements. But this is one he shares with many contemporary poets writing in English. His appeal to common experience and his use of a direct, sometimes colloquial language that he does not refine or rarefy into a sophisticated idiom are features that may be reminiscent of Philip Larkin, but without Larkin's bitter sarcasm or slip into deliberate coarseness. His attitude to conventional forms is different too. While Larkin shapes the surface of his texts on strict prosodic and rhyming patterns, simultaneously erasing them in his use of syntax, Curtis rarely forces his lines into outward regularity; he allows sounds and rhythms to inform them from inside. The notable exception to the apparent freewheeling nature of his verse is his use of villanelles, a form in which the repetition of lines, associated with variations on a cluster of images, makes for an indirect approach to the emotion at the core of the poem.

Curtis's poems are most satisfactory when they are understated. Attitudes and emotions, sometimes even facts, are suggested through one or two apt images or comparisons rather than being developed. Readers are expected to supplement and complement what is given. Does the Thai girl's body adrift on the hotel bed call up the spread corpse of the European male who bought her for a couple of weeks and who was last seen hanging onto his pole in a frenzy of terror on a raft surrounded by desperately determined guerrillas ("Summer in Bangkok" in Taken for Pearls)? In "Home Front" (The Last Candles) the irony of the mother's readiness to gas herself and her children in order to escape the Nazis is not stated. In "Soup," an early prizewinning poem telling of a Jewish boy in a concentration camp, readers are left to decide whether the storyteller is genuinely reluctant to tell his story. How much should be made of the apple in the Sarajevo poem ("From the hills, the town" in Taken for Pearls), which the watching officer first divides into two with a twist of his hands, then fits back together before biting impartially from both halves?

While there is never any doubt about where his sympathies lie, Curtis eludes stark simplifications. Not all victims of persecution, for example, are heroes. Even self-satisfied chauvinistic males or sports figures such as the racing driver Richard Beattie-Seaman, who compromised himself with Nazi leaders when he won the Nürburgring race in 1938, can be embraced in our compassion because of their fear or suffering. His poems recurringly appeal to a compassion that is never cloyingly self-righteous. Many explore a sense of bereavement, dispossession, or loss, as in the poem called "Public Sale" on the plight of the husband who has lost his wife. The italicized lines

   When a man's left alone, seems like
   his fields pull further towards the sky-line,
   the earth fights harder against the plough

are quietly contrasted with the terrible ease with which those preying on "another man's loss" seem to turn over the land:

   One by one their laden trucks leave,
   churning the dirt road into furrows
   that a man could plant so easily.

Even Curtis's apparently detached interest in traditional funeral rites as they can still be observed in villages in South Wales ("Preparations") includes a personal involvement in the strategies developed to counter grief. The final comparison of the women in the house counting "over and over" the places for the guests at the funeral meal makes it clear that there is something sacramental in the material gestures of preparing sandwiches and laying the table, some way of conjuring death.

Within twenty-four lines a poem such as "The Night-Trees" offers a neat instance of the power of indirection to convey emotions. Parents who presumably belong to an Asian community are about to kill their second baby girl at birth, something that calls for only indignation. The situation is not condoned, but it is understood from inside. The resigned unhappiness of both the father and mother can be felt in their separate vigils, the mother further softening her grief in the fairy-tale fantasy of girls whispering "one to the other" while one is dead and buried and the other still to be born and disposed of.

Notwithstanding the apparent straightforwardness in most of his story poems, allusive indirectness is thus a key notion in approaching Curtis's work. He is obviously critical of a social system flaunting material success and efficiency in business as supreme values, made clear in texts such as "Summer in Greece" and "The Immortality of Birds." But his poems are never political slogans. Whereas slogans consolidate what should be removed or altered, simply telling a story may lead to awareness and so, perhaps, to change. Similarly, Curtis repeatedly suggests symbols, but he stays clear of a reassuring neatness that would preclude the messiness and confusion of the real world, Yeats's mire and blood.

—Christine Pagnoulle

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Curtis, Tony

CURTIS, Tony

CURTIS, Tony. Welsh, b. 1946. Genres: Novels, Poetry, Literary criticism and history. Career: Wilmslow Grammar School, Cheshire, teacher, 1969-71; Maltby Grammar School, Yorkshire, teacher, 1971-74; University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, professor of poetry, 1974-. Yr Academi Gymreig (National Association of Writers in Wales), executive member, 1977-90, chairman, 1984-89; Royal Society of Literature, fellow, 2000. Publications: Walk down a Welsh Wind, 1972; Album, 1974; (with D. Bush and N. Jenkins) Three Young Anglo-Welsh Poets, 1974; Out of the Dark Wood (fiction), 1977; The Deer Slayers, 1978; Carnival, 1978; Preparations, 1980;Letting Go, 1983; Dannie Abse, 1985; Wales-The Imagined Nation: Essays in Cultural and National Identity, 1986; Selected Poems 1970-1985, 1986; Poems: Selected and New, 1986; The Last Candles (poems), 1989; How to Study Modern Poetry, 1989; Taken for Pearls, 1993; War Voices, 1996; The Arches, 1997; Welsh Painters Talking, 1997; Welsh Artist Talking, 2000; Heaven's Gate, 2001. EDITOR: Pembrokeshire Poems, 1975; The Art of Seamus Heaney, 1983, 4th ed., 2000; The Poetry of Pembrokeshire, 1989; The Poetry of Snowdonia, 1989; (with S. James) Love from Wales, 1991. Address: School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, M. Glam CF37 1DL, Wales. Online address: [email protected]

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http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

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